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Just a quick pointer to the really encouraging announcement from the COPAC development blog that COPAC individual COPAC records are now addressed with a persistent, and RESTful(ish) URL. The example given is:

…the work "China tide : the revealing story of the Hong Kong exodus to Canada" has a Copac Record Number of 72008715609 and can be linked to with the url http://copac.ac.uk/crn/72008715609

The records are marked up as MODS XML - but this of secondary importance to me compared to the fact that the records are easily and reliably addressed. I note that Owen Stephens has already commented...

JISC IE In the latest edition of Ariadne the JISC Information Environment (JISC IE), and that diagram in particular, get taken to task by Tony Ross in an article called Lost in the JISC Information Environment.

Tony takes a look at the origins of the JISC IE, or more particularly its technical architecture, and asks a series of searching questions about its purpose and effectiveness. I think he does a good job of highlighting some of the difficulties inherent in trying to conceptualise an environment in which the supply of resources is necessarily distributed and the requirements of users are multifarious...

A really interesting and useful comment over on Brian's blog from Nicola Osborne talking about the rationale behind surfacing SUNCat in Facebook.

I had made the point, earlier in the thread that EDINA's decision to invest a little in creating a facade for SUNCat on Facebook's 'platform' was probably a smart move in terms of marketing…. but nothing more than this. Getting your application 'out there' to 'where the users are' is a pretty standard marketing strategy. I have seen others claiming that marketing in Facebook is different because it affords the chance for your application to 'go viral...

Commenting on the Google Apps outage last week, John Proffitt, IT services director at APTI, an Alaskan public TV station, said:

"It was constant troubleshooting, testing, research, posting to the Google Apps forums and so on. Plus there's the emotional strain of wondering whether you completely screwed up by moving everyone to Google Apps as our sole e-mail system. That's what freaked me out: Did Google just make me look like an idiot?"

[via Gmail leaves Google Apps admins nervous on InfoWorld, my emphasis]

In the higher-education-institution (HEI) community I have seen a fair amount...

You may have noticed that I have included a statement on this blog's ' home-page' to the effect that:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

This is standard blurb from the Creative Commons (CC) site. In the context of my blog this means - well, what exactly? Feel free to use anything you find here, for whatever purpose you like, so long as you credit me? What about material I include from elsewhere? What about other people's comments on my posts? It seems to me that this just isn't clear enough….

And another problem - I don't necessarily...

I've just been invited in FaceBook to join something called a 'blog network'. The invitation purported to come from a well-known blogger - someone I'm happy to be associated with. I accepted the invitation, which caused the FaceBook to announce to anyone who cared to notice that I am now a fan of that particular blog.

Err - 'scuse me? I just joined a 'network' - I didn't make any value judgement other than that which can be implied by my joining this network - and I don't think I implied I was a fan. In this case I'm not too worried by this association as I generally appreciate the blog, but...

I was invited to my first JISC Innovation Forum which took place over Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, and was held in Keele University. Apart from a smattering of light duties - a couple of meetings, helping to 'referee' a session (more later) and taking turns to staff the joint UKOLN / CETIS / OSS Watch / TechWatch stand, I was free to get stuck into the real business of this event which was, for me at least, learning & networking.

The forum has a significant online presence, both in terms of the supporting infrastructure (blogs, transcripts etc.) as well as delegates' own blog posts etc...

Via my colleague Brian Kelly's post, I read Catherine O'Brien's How the Google generation thinks differently on the Times Online site (Brian gets cited offering advice on parenting in a digital age!).

I enjoyed the article, but one sentence in the middle caused me to reminisce about my own childhood, and my approach to 'doing' homework:

The experience with which my generation grew up, of absorbing oneself in a single book and allowing its themes to meander into the mind before forming considered judgments, is in danger of being eclipsed by the new, digital world order.

Now I judge myself...

At a JISC workshop last Thursday I was invited to present some ideas around an architecture to support and exploit repositories in the UK. I gave the presentation the title Repository Architecture #83 ;-)

My intention was to suggest some starting principles and then explore how they held up in the face of real-world issues. Here is the slide where I outlined these principles:

presentation.004.png

I also asked the question: "do we actually need a new architecture?" - suggesting that there is already a ubiquitous & successful architecture supporting much/most/(all?) of the functionality we want from repositories...

For some time now I've been thinking about what I think of as the ascendency of the opportunistic developer in web application development. The phrase has unfortunate connotations for those who remember the 'personas' meme from some years ago when it was revealed that Microsoft had characterised three type of developer for three of its software development products. [ 1] and [ 2]. This post is not directly related to these archetypes (the opportunistic developer was called 'Mort' in the meme, a name which has become derogatory). Rather, I'm talking abut the developer who, regardless of their...

I haven't minted a TLA for ages - I think I might be the the first to come up with PPP for Personal Profile Portability as a convenient handle to wrap around the current flavour of 'data portability' being touted by the major 'walled-garden' social network sites.

Both MySpace and Facebook have recently launched initiatives to open up a little….but not too much.

MySpace has announced its Data Availability project with some major partner applications. Essentially, this will encourage the user to manage 'profile' information on MySpace, with a view to surfacing this information in other, partner...

At the University of Bath, where UKOLN is based, we use an enterprise calendar solution from Oracle. It's OK, no worse than some others I've used, but not great. It does have a client for Mac OSX in its favour…. but I don't really want to use a dedicated client when I have systems and workflows with dependencies on the Mac's built in calendar application, iCal. iCal is not particularly great either, but it is integrated into Mac OSX and there are advantages to be had from this. I have a few colleagues who would like to be able to use MS Outlook for similar reasons.

Primarily, I want to be able...

Here's an interesting approach. Bernhard Haslhofer at Media Spaces has developed OAI2LOD Server, a system which harvests metadata with OAI-PMH, processes the records to create a triple store and exposes interfaces to this for linked-data clients, SPARQL clients and web-browsers.

According to the web-page:

The OAI2LOD Server exposes any OAI-PMH compliant metadata repository according to the Linked Data guidelines. This makes things and media objects accessible via HTTP URIs and query able via the SPARQL protocol.

I find myself wondering if there is an application for this software in...

Back in February I was asked to give a talk to the JISC Digitisation Programme meeting. I blogged about this shortly beforehand asking for comments and suggestions. The response was fantastic - I received a bunch of great suggestions and incorporated many of them into the presentation. Everyone who commented got a public 'thankyou' at the event, and I included all names in the slides I used.

I have finally gotten around to making the slides available (someone who was at the meeting has asked for them so they made some sort of impression with someone!).

Thanks again.

For some time now I have occasionally advised people involved in repository administration that they should consider registering the Base URL of their OAI-PMH interface (if they have one) with Google as a proxy for a Sitemap. Until recently, Google has supported the use of OAI-PMH Base URLs in its Webmaster Tools which site owners can use to create and register sitemaps in order to give hints about the structure of the website to Google's web-crawler.

A while ago, I noticed that there was no longer any reference to this particular support in any of the documentation and began to suspect that...

In a recent post, Facebook Or Twitter - Or Facebook And Twitter , Brian Kelly says:

…in some circle such use of Facebook is being derided with comments such as “It’s a closed garden“, “Its popularity is on the wane” or “Twitter is a better development environment” being made. I have to say that I foind that such comments tend to miss the point.“.

Brian tackles the "popularity on the wane" comment with some web statistics, but leaves the "closed garden" and "better development environment" arguments. I'm not at all sure what the argument is about development environments, but I am very...

UKOLN logo This coming Thursday (10/04/2008), UKOLN will be celebrating its 30th anniversary, in an (invitation only) event at the British Library Conference Centre, London. Participating will be current and ex-staff, and a wide variety of people with whom UKOLN has worked or collaborated in some way, both nationally and internationally. In addition to a celebration, in fine UKOLN tradition we will have a series of presentations from senior figures in the Library, Higher Education and Cultural Heritage sectors, offering us their memories and perspectives in a 'Celebration of the Changing Digital World...

I was pleased to be invited by Brian Fuchs to a 'Million Books Workshop' at Imperial College, London last Friday. A fascinating day, in the company of what was, for me, an unusual group of 20-30 linguists, classical scholars and computer scientists. The morning session consisted of three presentations (following an introduction from Gregory Crane which I missed thanks to the increasingly awful transport system between London and the South West) which brought us up to speed with some advances in OCR, computer aided text analysis and translation, and classification. The presentations were intended...

After a few years of reading about (and, once upon a time, practising) Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) development, I was interested to read Galen Gruman's article in Infoworld on its take-up in the mainstream, commercial world.

I got interested in SOA very early on. Not surprising really: as an enterprise developer (in Higher Education) with a background in web technologies, involved in mainly Java-based projects, I already had the mindset with which SOA would fit naturally. Specifically, it was the promise of distributed, re-usable components which appealed (and which was touted as the...

The headline to Guy Dixon's post on vnunet.com is "Facebook user numbers fall in the UK". The sub-title is: "Social networking fatigue sets in at last".

I don't think the one follows the other. I think that what we are really seeing is simply Facebook Fatigue.

I felt the first effects of Facebook Fatigue months ago and stopped actively using it although I still respond to the alerts that it sends me about people communicating with me in some way. I wouldn't want to be rude!

When Facebook announced their platform which would allow third parties to deploy applications within the Facebook environment...


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